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Where to Shop in Washington, DC
Your guide to DC’s most frequented shopping districts.
Find a fresh new look for your home, sweetheart or self in DC. No matter where you are in the city, you’ve got options. Indie storefronts populate some of the hot new places to see and be seen, like 14th Street. Live out a Georgetown fantasy and browse its one-of-a-kind boutiques and design stores. The CityCenterDC shopping options have taken downtown by storm, with some of the globe’s most highly regarded brands. And if you’re looking for a trusty national retailer, you’ll find those sprinkled about, too! For the complete breakdown of the District’s shopping districts, check out these areas.
Serious shoppers are all-too familiar with this established shopping hub, which features a little bit of everything, from indie specialty shops to home design to high-end boutiques to national and international retail.
Scout out new accessories from Tory Burch, or splurge on a bona fide new look from fashionista-approved brands like Billy Reid and rag & bone. Meanwhile, the style-setters at Hu’s Wear (and Hu’s Shoes, just down the street) have all you’ll need to pull off the latest looks.
For more casual shopping, consider Second Time Around and Ella Rue for consignment scores, plus a stable of national retailers like J.Crew, Nike Georgetown and T.J. Maxx. Discoveries abound in the area known as Book Hill, located along Wisconsin Avenue at P Street headed north; here, find antique shops, funky boutiques and specialty stores, and the largest concentration of art galleries in the city. And for the little ones, don’t miss egg by Susan Lazar or Dawn Price Baby.
The options aren’t limited to wardrobe either, with an Apple Store and a Dean & Deluca holding court. To that end, Cady’s Alley serves as the city’s unofficial home design shopping capital, with more than 20 boutiques. And the area's dining outposts have been raking in awards, including Fiola Mare, Pizzeria Paradiso and Chez Billy Sud.
Head to the heart of Downtown for its newest shopping sensation, CityCenterDC, bustling with 10-acres of shops, cafes, restaurants and public space. Globally respected retailers like Paul Stuart, Dior, Kate Spade, Hermès, Longchamp, Burberry, Zadig & Voltaire and BOSS have sprouted up since CityCenter opened in 2014. After a day spent shopping, retire to one of the nearby dining outposts, such as Fig & Olive, Centrolina, DBGB Kitchen & Bar, Momofuku CCDC or Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse.
The rest of the downtown area has also welcomed a wave of development in recent years, including the arrival of new shopping destinations. Chinatown’s retail area includes popular shops like Loft, Urban Outfitters and Aveda.
On and around F Street, stop by Macy’s department store (where international shoppers can show their passports for an extra 10% off), and then check out noted retailers like Banana Republic, Anne Taylor and Anthropologie. Continue on and search through rack after rack at stores such as H&M, Zara or J.Crew. European and American handmade jewelry is on full display at Mia Gemma; otherwise, snag hard-to-find threads at nearby Peruvian Connection, which includes alpaca and pima cotton.
U Street/14th Street
Head to the hip hunter’s paradise where U Street’s old-school-cool vibe intertwines with trendsetting restaurants and shops along 14th Street.
Spruce up your home after a trip to 14th Street, which is lined with storefronts specializing in home goods, like local fave Salt & Sundry (also at Union Market). You can peruse antique houseware at Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot, which offers a hodgepodge of creative accoutrements to style any abode or apartment. Scout out modern home design at Room & Board or visit HomeRule for kitchen, bath and body goods.
Break from shopping madness with a homespun gelato from Dolcezza, and then reenter the fray at storied wine shop, Cork & Fork, operated by a wine-loving French couple. Batch 13 has a great selection of American whiskey for people eager to take a taste of the States home with them. If you want to shop local, go to Lou Lou, a regional chain of boutiques founded in Middleburg, Va. that specializes in unique, affordable accessories (think: jewelry, clutches and sunglasses).
A full range of shops complement the Connecticut Avenue strip. South of the Circle, men can hone their look with classic fashions from Brooks Brothers. Pick out the perfect pair of Oxfords to complement that new look by stopping by Allen Edmonds, just a block away.
For women who want to keep the sun out of their eyes, peep Proper Topper’s unmatched hat selection, from straw hats to fedoras to berets and more. On the topic of accessories, Tiny Jewel Box is your Dupont go-to for vintage jewelry.
Browse the racks of H&M for a new wardrobe that won’t break the bank, and if you’re in the market for a pair of jeans, mind the Gap across the street.
Switch gears from hot stripes to hot type with a visit north of the Circle to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, who has been “serving latte to the literati since 1976.”
Chevy Chase & Friendship Heights
Feast on high-end designer fashions in this quaint neighborhood straddling the line between Upper Northwest and Maryland. The shopping area here straddles the border between DC and Maryland’s Friendship Heights and Chevy Chase neighborhoods. As far as shopping destinations go, this area is reputable for its four high-end malls connected by an underground walkway to the Friendship Heights Metro station.
Upscale department store Bloomingdale’s takes up residence inside The Shops at Wisconsin Place. The mall’s other highlights range from BCBG and Anthropologie Petites to Cole Haan and Eileen Fisher.
Extending one block long, The Collection at Chevy Chase features exclusive product, including Ralph Lauren apparel and furnishings, as well as Tiffany and Co., Bulgari and Cartier.
Mazza Gallerie, which connects directly to the Metro, hosts Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store, plus Neiman Marcus and Williams-Sonoma.
Still want more designer fashions? Dotting Wisconsin Avenue between the malls you’ll find Nordstrom Rack and Lord & Taylor, plus a Whole Foods for when you get hungry.
A favorite for the international shopping set, who are known to pack extra suitcases to load up, Tysons includes not one, but two retail campuses specializing in high-end brands.
Take Metro’s Silver Line to the retail mecca located in McLean, Va., and browse through goods from more than 300 shops at Tysons Corner Center, including brands like Michael Kors, Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor and C. Wonder.
Cross the eight-lane street and you’ll find the luxury store-filled Tysons Galleria, which boasts notables like Prada, Chanel, Coach, Elie Tahari, and, if you’re here on travel and need an extra suitcase, get it from TUMI.
Now that you know all of the hot spots, it’s time to plan your shopping adventures. Check out these local shops you’ll definitely want to hit when you’re in DC.